23 June 2012

on to other things

I have tons of toons in their 80's who need to be 85 in World of Warcraft.

I have a stalled Rift account.

I have forgotten how to even play Skyrim it has been so long since I last played it.

I am angry at Blizzard and am not going to play Diablo for awhile, I'm just checking my auctions and waiting to sell off and clear up a bit. As it stands right now I'm not even going to worry about the WoW characters who are hanging out and waiting for me to do something with them. I may even sell them so that I have money to play other games.

Why?! What happened?!

Easy. I'm tired of paying to play something that just sucks.

As much as I love the stories and the play style and the characters and the attacks and all of the awesomeness of never going more than a minute without some action... well... random is random is a dumb ass thing to do and I can no longer even get loots I don't need fast enough to make grinding cash to buy the ones I do need efficient or effective.

See... as I've said and detailed... random is random is the direction Blizzard went with Diablo III.

That's random loots from crafting, which isn't cheap.

That's random loots of random levels from dungeons and areas, which is time consuming and frustrating.

That's random selections of mobs in every encounter, including getting a dozen elites at once upon entering an area.

There is NOTHING random about the cost of repairs, the levels you have to get to even to have a chance at being able to craft or loot your upgrades and there is NOTHING random about the decrease in the availability of loots and items.

Nope. The last patch didn't just dial back the drops... it killed them deader than Diablo is about to be.

I used to be able to make between 11,000g and 15,000g in sold drops and gold from doing Whimsyshire on Normal difficulty... more on Nightmare. In addition to the cash I was making (without changing my gear set before looting to something heavy on the magic and gold find, either... just in my normal gear, thanks so much) I was looting stacks of gems and potions and other useful items. If I only looted blues and better gear and items that were valuable I had some runs where I had to town portal back and empty stuff out before I could return to finish clearing the area.

Last night I ran Whimsyshire not once but twice.

Total take from 2 runs: 8 gems, 3 potions, 3 pages of blacksmithing and 1 page of jewelcrafting. 18 blue letter items, 3 yellow letter items and 1 "legendary" that was less breathtaking than you might suppose at 8 levels under me and no sockets or other "appealing" attributes. Total gold take after repairs and selling everything but the legendary... 6,478g, some pages for crafting professions I wont level, 8 gems and 3 potions.

I paid 150,000g for the first Staff of Herding.

I paid 200,001g for the upgrade to the existing Staff of Herding on Nightmare difficulty.

yeah... 350,001g for something that was already going to be a pain in the ass to "regain the gold" from and was instead a fun place to beat on things and take a break from the constant grind grind grind of a game that feels designed to drive us to the gold sellers and then to the auction houses in droves.

Add to this the fact that WoW has been a joke for years by pandering to the lazy overly-entitled shits we managed to raise in this generation who want everything for nothing and complain when it even looks like they might have to actually work for something and I'm just done.

As much as I'd like to play a Monk in WoW and explore a new continent and see the new story... it is so far overwhelmed by how much I do NOT want to deal with dumb kids making poop jokes in /Trade and gold sellers spamming me from every angle and exploiters finding every loop hole in everything they find and a game that is only 1/2 developed when it is released and will change a dozen times in the first three months of playing it that I'm really pretty sure I paid for my last ever subscription and am now just waiting for the money to run out.

Blizzard, I am going to say it and I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

You suck.

You have become the single most hated gaming company of all time and this seems to suit you all just fine from all appearances. Everyone complains about Blizzard. Everyone talks about how terrible you are and because you're still raking up the money with bulldozers you have no reason even to bother with being the most complained about company in the world. And with good reason. A conservative estimate of $480,000,000.00 later as the take from JUST Diablo III and... well... your board can call that success.

You've become the awareness poster for companies who allow greed and a general disdain for your customers to be reflected in poorly crafted games and environments rife with theft, idiocy and poorly plotted development. You don't deliver what you propose, you make us test your games before and after they are released and you release them badly as a result. Design decisions are made with the lowest common denominator in mind and changes to the games are made in blatant effort to pander to the same lowest common denominator. That lowest class of player that you are so disdainful of that your customer service has become a joke, security has become a game of russian roulette and in-game tickets are now handled by bot responses for is now developing plot and upgrades to your games because they are the players to whom you are marketing for the long haul.

You give us the games we want to love in a way that is frankly disgusting and demeaning and I'm tired of the shit. I'm tired of being fed shit and told it's the most delicious thing I'm ever going to eat. I'm tired of taking shit and being told I should be thankful for the beauty and cost effectiveness of it.

Sell your shit to the asshats who wear you like a badge of honor and continue to tank the economies and world chats of the games the rest of us are choosing to play instead. Just do a better damned job of it so they quit peeling out of your cesspool looking for something better, would you? Please? Keep them so the rest of us can play without them pooping in the pool and making snide jokes about it from the sides for hours at a time.

Any sentimental connection I had to your game has rapidly become a thing of the past for me.

There are SO many better companies who are selling fewer games and have smaller staff and are still managing to provide stellar products and exceptional worlds while keeping up security, customer service and delivery of promised goods and services. I'm going to make sure that they have my money and time and attention in the future. You continue selling your beta keys to folks who will pre-subscribe to your games and then wont give feedback or read screens and be valid testers. I'm out the door. I'm not your free tester anymore.

It's been fun at times and there would have been no other games to experience for me if there had not first been World of Warcraft. You were definitely my gateway game. I will always cherish the first few months when I learned a whole new way to play and have fun online.

I'm done with you now and am on to better things that are better for me.

The best part is that I can continue to check back in and at any time I can change my mind... I just highly doubt that the outcome will be any different.

This means that Skyrim can call to me again. Someday the Elderscrolls MMO will come out and I'll have at least $14.99 a month to put into it.

This means that I have time for other games that honey wants me to give a try to.

Diablo III sold like a single-player game and has no monthly subscription. When I'm done being tired of the shit I can still go back, I still have the Staff of Herding and I can level any class all the way through Normal without any stress or pressure. When I'm done I can liquidate and start again and just build up a mountain of gold.

And until my pre-paid subscription is done I can even go into WoW and know that I'm just there for the fun and getting characters ready for sale.

Do you have any idea how much gold I'll be able to give to my friends if I don't have to spend it to buy more gear and enchants and pay to reforge the stats because none of the gear is really the way it should be when it drops?

And Rift... lovely wonderful beautiful Rift who finally peeled out the asshats from WoW... how lovely it will be to return and spend time rediscovering you as a whole new game the way I did with WoW.

peace... and if not peaceful then at least be decisive... right?

lol. right now this is where I stand and rather than feeling all sad inside I feel liberated. I might even hit honey up for an honest to gods loan for starting Rift back up again.

18 June 2012

another day and some more reclaimed optimism...

diablo 3 has some real problems.

I wont lie.

and... lmao... if you're on normal and you let yourself just be swallowed by the glory of it there is so much fun to be had in little things you will miss later on any other difficulty.

like being a barbarian and smashing 18 mobs that ate your wizard the first time he tried it on the same difficulty.

like being a monk who can one shot blast 30 enemies dead and still have energy to murder the 15 more on the other side of the platform because the game was interestingly "random" more than usual in this one area and everything short of the Gods and Lich King are hanging out in one spot at one time just to make the game more "fun." (note: there is no Lich King and we never meet any "Gods" that identify themselves in the game. this is a funny. I'm particular in my phrasing of "gods that identify themselves" because I do believe we have met one and I don't want to spoil it for anyone who didn't bother to read what he had to say or hasn't had a chance to yet.)

like just managing finally to take down belial in one go on not one character but two in a row.

Monk to Covetous Shen: In Ivgorad we have 1001 gods.
Covetous Shen to Monk: 1001 gods? Oh my! In Xiansai we have only 59 gods and you can't cross the street without praising one and begging forgiveness from another.


Less is more? Or more is less?

for more of covetous shen, including some beautifully deep and thoughtful things to say at tough or hilarious times in the game... click here.

Scoundrel to Barbarian: At least you can't be upset with me for stealing from a guy like Khule.
Barbarian to Scoundrel: You are quite right.


Kill then steal or steal then loot?

Gotta love Lyndon. I do, anyway. Lots of folks don't like him so much. I find him restful compared to the very devout and driven folks like Kormac and Eirena. Some of the most vociferous complaints about him seem to come from people who don't grasp that sometimes a hard shell is a result of something painful just under the surface... and that some of us just are not wired to be deeply emo and always overly connected in order to feel complete.

thieves always get a bad rap... this one is by far one of the funnier and sexier ones. His relationship to my Demon Hunter (female) and to my Wizard (male) are both hilarious and entertaining. Much more fun to hear their conversations over and over than any of the others. His nature is by far better understood by both my Barbarian and Monk characters, although perhaps this is from disinterest on the part of one and godly acceptance on the part of the other?

another observation... now that I've seen it enough to feel like I "get it" a little better.

while some of the "transistions" are hard and while I'm still very aware of a serious hatred in me for the "random is just random" application of some of the mechanics in the game that blizzard chose to embody as a cop-out... there's an answer here to the folks raging and freaking out that I'd previously missed.

dungeons are going to be stuck together when you hit the door... and will be REconfigured when you leave the game and/or change quest and come back to them (this is why the map resets.) This is called "procedurally generated" if you need a label for it. the monsters are going to be randomly selected and given random sets of abilities, too... no thought is going into this at all. If monster type "leaper with scary long tongue" is allowed to have jailor, plagued, waller, vampire and teleporter in his attack types and has two special abilities then a group of 3 of these monsters can be any combination of those abilities in addition to having their "non special" attacks... regardless of how stupidly overkill it is to have 2 jailers, 2 wallers, 3 plaguers and 2 teleporters in the group of three mobs.

on nightmare difficulty this ramps up some and the number of possible special attacks is greater and of those special attacks many of them are much harder. also the number of special mobs is increased and so the possibility of popping into a dungeon from the load screen and finding a pack of 6 or 7 blue letter elites waiting and ready for you all of them with two special abilities each and double the health of the white letter mobs is pretty good. Add to this the "random" chance of having a gold letter elite or purple letter elite also hanging out there with them by coincidence and I can see how it's possible that folks feel like the difficulty ramps unfairly at times.

random is random is NOT the way to make a good game.

random is random is the way that blizzard chose to make THIS game.

only time and our own assessments can determine whether blizzard can make this a good game.

I actually had a group of 6 or 7 (one or more of them had the ability to duplicate themselves for protection so counting was almost impossible as soon as I started hitting any of them) blue letter elites and a gold letter elite waiting for me when I popped from level 2 of the sin heart quest chain to level 3 and when I realized I was really far out manned and out gunned and used the instance portal to leap back to level 2 and recover one of the mobs was able to leap through with me by using an anticipatory "teleport" mechanic and so I died on the OTHER side of the dungeon portal to a gold letter monster that wasn't even from that dungeon level.

I did kill them all and only died the one time because I had no idea any of them could follow me through so he ganked me unreasonably unsuspecting. I'm really glad I wasn't on hardcore mode.

In fact I can guarantee that I will not ever BE on hardcore mode when cheating to win is the only method to make it all the way from normal to inferno at level 60 because of this random is random mindset. (don't YOU tell ME that it's not cheating... creative use of game mechanics is one thing... shutting down the game and logging in on another computer or waiting an hour to log back in so that the system resets in order to avoid dying is cheating full-stop.

I will likely continue leveling all of my characters a little at a time through from Nightmare to Hell and beyond. Buffy is 51 and parked outside the door to the last boss of the game on Nightmare. Julien is level 50 and is about 15 minutes away from that same doorway in Act IV on Nightmare. Holle is 25 and screaming through normal level Act III so fast that it's catching the Enchantress' hair on fire and right behind her at level 24 is Kayne in the same Act and accompanied by Lyndon the Scoundrel.

I'm just not in any hurry to get there.

peace and if not peaceful then always in a world far far away... *hugs*